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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Macroclimatic Indices to Define Potential Soil Organic Carbon Storage with No Tillage

Authors
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item Abrahamson Beese, Deborah

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2002
Publication Date: November 10, 2002
Citation: FRANZLUEBBERS, A.J., STARK, D.A. MACROCLIMATIC INDICES TO DEFINE POTENTIAL SOIL ORGANIC CARBON STORAGE WITH NO TILLAGE. SOIL SCIENCE SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL MEETING. 2002.

Technical Abstract: No tillage has become an accepted cropping practice throughout the USA. Potential climate change has prompted great interest in conservation tillage as a practice to help sequester CO2 from the atmosphere into the soil. Numerous reports published in recent years about the effect of no tillage compared with conventional tillage on potential C storage indicate large variation in the amount of potential C storage with no tillage. Environmental controls may limit the potential of no tillage to store soil C. We synthesized available data on C storage with no tillage compared with conventional tillage from published reports across the USA and Canada. A gradient of mean annual temperature and precipitation served to isolate environmental conditions that limited C storage with no tillage. Although no tillage is important for water conservation, aggregation, and protection of the soil surface from wind and water erosion in cold and dry climates, potential C storage was the lowest, perhaps due to prevailing cropping systems that relied on low-intensity cropping, which limited C fixation. Our analyses indicate that greatest potential C storage with no- tillage crop production is most likely in mild compared with extreme environments.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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